The Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations league celebrates recent product innovations across various fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories in Europe and includes cosmetic and home care products.
The top food and drink innovator in the table was Nestlé for Bon Pari Koshmariki iced lollies, which it launched in Russia, and Buitoni La Sfoglia Rotonda Senza Glutine gluten-free pasta, which was introduced in Italy.
Italy-based Barilla with its Buongrano Mulino Bianco biscuits came next, which was launched in its home market, while Mondelēz International claimed fourth place for its UK milk chocolate wafer snack Cadbury Roundie. Danone’s Danissimo Shake & Go drinks aimed at consumers in Russia was listed as fifth.
Jacob Douwe Egberts, General Mills
Other food and drink manufacturers in the top 25 hitting the UK were Dutch company Jacob Douwe Egberts for luxury coffee brand L’Or Classique and General Mills for granola snack Nature Valley Bars.
One of the drivers of successful innovation across those making the league table were brands demonstrating the ability not just to win market share and deliver growth, but to deploy robust strategies for product categories, said Nielsen. This had been done by listening to consumer needs and optimising package and product design to create new formats of existing products as well as completely new propositions.
According to Nielsen, some of the most successful innovative products ranged from ‘special-treats’ to products that tapped into consumer demand for healthier and free-from options. Others aimed at growing an existing core brand or appealing to different kinds of consumers such as premium shoppers.
“Over time, consumer needs and attitudes have evolved, with the emergence of e-commerce, private labels and exposure to digital platforms providing personalised messaging from brands,” said Smruti Kulkarni, Europe leader, machine learning & design solutions at Nielsen. “This fierce competition for consumer’s attention has made product innovation a challenging feat for FMCG companies.”
The qualifications for the list of Nielsen’s Top 25 Breakthrough Innovations covered requirements for distinctiveness, relevance, endurance, and the broader strategies employed by brands to make them successful.
“Successful innovation can come in many different forms — some could be disruptive game changers, while others could be launched to fend off competitive pressure, or with the idea of tapping into an emerging consumer trend,” said Kulkarni.
“Some of these brands have challenged the traditional notion of success. Across Europe we can see some remarkable innovation stories where different approaches have been taken to solve a business problem.”
Nielsen's Top 25 breakthrough innovations
Bon Pari Koshmariki
Buitoni La Sfoglia Rotonda Senza Glutine
Buongrano Mulino Bianco
Couches Lotus Baby
Danissimo Shake & Go
Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry
Destilerías Unidas S. A. (DUSA)
Epica Protein Yogurt
Felix Doubly Delicious Dry Cat Food
Herta Le Bon Paris Conservation Sans Nitrite
Ichnusa Non Filtrata
Heineken Italia S.p.A.
Judith Williams Cosmetics
Jacobs Douwe Egberts B.V.
Ladron de Manzanas Cider
Lenor 3in1 Pods
Procter & Gamble
Lenor Inspiré par la Nature
Procter & Gamble
Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Magnat Champagne & Strawberry
Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink
Nature Valley Bars
Oral-B Répare Gencives et Émail
Procter & Gamble
Perwoll Care & Refresh
Purina Gourmet Gold Tortini